Tuesday, April 5, 2016

D is for: Desperate Remedies

Desperate Remedies (1993)

Director: Peter Wells and Stewart Main
Writer: Peter Wells and Stewart Main
Producer: James Wallace
Stars: Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Kevin Smith, Cliff Curtis, Michael Hurst, Lisa Chappell

Set in a highly stylized nineteenth century, Desperate Remedies is a subversive, operatic melodrama in which women hold the upper hand and outmanoeuver the men.

Drothea runs a successful drapery business. Her sister, Rose is addicted to opium, and her supplier, Fraser. Lawrence is a tough, penniless immigrant. Dorothea wants Lawrence to marry Rose, to save her from herself, but Rose has only eyes for Fraser. Dorothea finds herself increasingly attracted to Lawrence, despite her longstanding relationship with her companion, Anne. And as he endeavours to dispatch Fraser, Lawrence falls for Dorothea. Sensing a rival for her affections, Anne pushes Dorothea toward a marriage of convenience with William, a politician who will do anything to get ahead.

As the various plots and entanglements of the heart converge, Dorothea finds herself torn between her head and her heart in a battle that only love can free her from.

Shot entirely in a studio, the film employs lush lighting and highly stylized art direction that draws heavily on women’s films of the 1920s. It premiered at Cannes in 1993 and screened at numerous festivals after that, picking up awards around the world.


  1. Very interesting--I need to check this one out.

  2. Subversive, operatic melodrama? Count me in!

  3. Subversive! I like that. It sounds like a very complicated love story that I might actually enjoy.

  4. I'm gonna combine your last two for a title -- Desperate Crush -- and see if I can cobble together a flash piece. Because, what else would I do with my time except procrastinate from doing my WIP?!

  5. Wow. I thought I was pretty savvy on movies but I don't know any of these.

  6. Another very interesting film I have never heard of. This has been extremely informative.